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TheCatSite is all about connecting with other cat lovers and learning how to make life better for our treasured felines. Communication over digital media can be challenging though. Let's review some of the ways in which we can keep this site a safe and fun environment for all cat lovers.

Some of the following tips are actually part of our site rules but others are more general guidelines that will help you figure out what's the right etiquette for our community. If you're new here or to using forums, reading this might help you avoid some sticky situations!

Are these rules unique to TheCatSite?

Some of them may be. Just like social manners change from one setting to another in the real life, so can they be different between websites. Hopefully, this article will provide you with a few shortcuts to "getting it right" here on TCS.

1. Be kind.
In a nutshell, treat others as you would like to be treated and remember there's a real person on the other side of the screen. In fact, he or she probably has a cat near - or on! - the keyboard just like you do.

2. Mind your language.
We don't tolerate profanities here. If it can't be mentioned on the ten o'clock news, you shouldn't be using that word.

3. And mind your tone too.
Nope, no one here can actually hear your tone of voice when you tell us something. So use sarcasm and parody with care. Know who you are talking to and the context and be sure to explain your meaning. Understanding another person can sometimes be difficult, even more so when you have no visual cues to rely on. Use smilies where appropriate, to help convey your message.

4. Be respectful of other cultures
Cats are everywhere on this planet and so are our members! We have members practically from every country on the globe and from every walk of life. Be respectful of other cultures and don't expect everyone else to share your own opinions and values.

5. Respect other people's content.
You may quote others using the quote function in posts but please do so respectfully. If you wish to use another member's images or text for any other purpose - on the site or elsewhere - ask that member for permission first.

6. Reply to others and be willing to accept their replies.
When people post their questions or stories on the forums, take the time to comment and reply. Our strength as a community is in helping each other and that's done through posting.

If you asked a question or shared an experience, be willing to listen to the answers. And yes, people may occasionally reply in a way that's different from what you had imagined. Even if you feel they are wrong, be polite and kind in your reply as you explain why.

Read more: 13 Surefire Tips For Getting Better, Faster Replies In The Forums

7. Not sure about the rules?
This website has been around for more than 17 years now. Our site rules are based on that vast amount of experience. Still unsure about something? Ask in the Site Help forum or contact one of the moderators directly. They don't bite. At least not if you're just asking a question ;).

8. Don't play mod.
Speaking of the moderators, please don't try to do their job for them. If you see a problem situation evolving anywhere on the site, by all means, alert the moderators. We rely on our members where it comes to finding out about problems. Just don't step in and try to fix anything yourself. We prefer to let the moderators work things out discreetly behind the scenes.

9. What to do when someone else is not playing by the rules?
If you see any problem at all - a thread that needs to be moved, a spam post, a member being rude - please flag the offending post. Just look for the little flag icon that's under each post and click that to send us a report. That's the fastest and more efficient way to report anything on the board.

If someone is not in fact breaking any rules but you don't feel comfortable seeing their messages, you can always block them. Blocking a member means you won't be seeing any of their posts, nor will that member be able to approach you via a private conversation.

Let's keep on working together to make this community a place where cat lovers always feel welcome! :grouphug:

Read more: Community Guidelines & Practices - Frequently Asked Questions